eschew obfuscation (and espouse elucidation)

PTHPasteboard: The Lazy Man's Memory

I’ve wanted to write about this for a while, so here goes…

I’m lazy. I don’t like using my mouse very much. I don’t even like using my keyboard very much. In fact, if I could just think and have my computer react, I’d be happy as a clam. Well, that’s not going to happen anytime soon, so I find little ways to optimize my computer time and this utility helps out quite a bit.

PTHPasteboard is a little utility that sits in your menubar (and optionally in a slide-away window), and faithfully captures everything you copy. Then, when you need the last (or second to last, or third to last, or… ) thing you copied, it’s a cinch to retrieve thanks to its flexibility of keybindings and menus.

I’ve configured mine so that Shift-Command-V will paste the second to last thing on the stack and Control-Command-V will past the third to last. Also, Alt-Command-V causes the PTHPasteboard to slide out onto my screen so that I can pick any of the last 100 clipboard items:

PTHPasteboard config

How is this useful?

If someone sends you a username and password that you will need to use several times in a short period of time, you can keep those two bits of information at the top of the stack and continually flip between them instead of having to application switch several times. And, since you can configure PTHPasteboard to move the pasted entry to the top of the list, if you have to alternate between pasting two different items, it’s easy to just keep hitting the “paste second to last” keybinding.

Or say it’s half an hour after you used a particular piece of information, like an account number or a URL, and your need it again. Instead of racking your brain, just pull up the last 100 items and scroll down till you find what you need.

The best thing is that I never fear losing what’s in my clipboard any more. If I’m editing a long email or blog post and I’m worried about losing it because my session’s expired, I’ll often copy the entire contents before I hit Submit. Now, I don’t have to worry about losing that information even if I have to copy something else real quick. Plus, I can save the title and the list of recipients as well.

I use this utility all day, every day, and I’d recommend it to anyone with a Mac.

One final note: Since many of the items that go onto a clipboard may be sensitive, PTHPasteboard has the option to clear its list on every reboot and there’s a little eraser on the item list that will toss all entries.